(Long Island, N.Y.) The team may have finished short of their goal and failed to defend their 2009 World Series championship, but the New York Yankees have dominated the offseason awards. This past week, three players were honored (and one on two separate occasions) with the Rawlings Gold Glove and Louisville Silver Slugger award announcements.
They are the first team in a decade to have an infield with at least three Gold Glovers. First baseman Mark Teixeira, second baseman Robinson Cano and shortstop Derek Jeter all were honored and follow the 2000 Cleveland Indians trio of Roberto Alomar (2B), Omar Vizquel (SS) and Travis Fryman (3B).
Cano was the only one who has never been honored by Rawlings before and realizes the importance of it all. “Winning the Gold Glove Award along with my teammates Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter is an honor,” he said in a statement. “It’s a great feeling to be recognized by managers and coaches for my defensive skills. This is an award I’ve worked for since becoming a Major Leaguer and will continue to do so each season.” Bobby Richardson was the only other Yankee second baseman to win the award, doing so in five straight years (1961 to 1965).
Winning these awards has become old hat for Teixeira and Jeter, who have amassed nine combined throughout their storied careers. As for ‘Tex,’ he became the first Bronx Bomber first basemen to become a repeat winner since Don Mattingly, who won it four consecutive times from 1991 to 1994. “As a player who works very hard on defense, it is an honor to win my fourth Gold Glove,” Teixeira said in a statement. “I am blessed to play with great teammates, and it’s special to share this achievement with Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter.”
Speaking of the Yankee captain, Jeter led MLB with a .989 fielding percentage and committed only six errors, both career bests. “It is a tremendous honor to receive the Gold Glove Award, especially since this recognition comes from managers and coaches for whom I have a great deal of respect,” Jeter – who won his fifth – said in a statement. “It is particularly gratifying to be recognized for defense, as it is something I take a lot of pride in and am constantly working to improve.”
A day later, Cano won the second Silver Slugger Award of his career, also taking home the metal bat in 2006. Eight previous Yankees have won the award more than once, but never one of their second baseman. Cano also became the eighth American League second baseman to win both the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award in the same season.
While they may have to wait another year to go for their 28th championship, the Yankees have the pieces in place to make another good run of it. Cano, Teixeira and Jeter may have been the three honored, but as a team, the Yankees led the majors with a .988 fielding percentage and committed league-low 69 errors.